AZED CROSSWORD 1788
1. D. Parfitt: These I loosely associate with L’Oréal (anag. & lit.).
2. D. C. Williamson: These L’Oréal possibly should invest in? (i’ in anag., & lit.).
3. J. Grimes: Present in fresh aloe lilies lie leaves producing aromatics (there in anag. less lie).
D. & N. Aspland: Are these liquidised to capture essences of aloe and lily? (lo, il in anag., & lit.).
M. Barley: Aerosol and the like dispense such, and KO stinking (comp. anag. & lit.).
D. A. Campbell: Ales hotelier brewed: they smell good and do you good! (anag.).
C. A. Clarke: Now nearly everyone is enthralled by European works such as produced by Bach (there al(l) in E toils; ref. Bach flower remedies).
E. Cross: I see allegro is transposed – ignoring for example Bach’s sources? (anag. less e.g.; ref. Bach flower remedies).
V. Dixon: Unconventional healer embarking on labours needs first what’s latest in these (e + anag. in toils, & lit.).
B. Grabowski: Rambling rose i.e. with all the elements of perfume (anag.).
R. J. Heald: Core ingredient of cosmetics and balmy lotion healer’s rubbing on (e + anag. less on, & lit.).
P. Heffernan: Primrose (50%) and apple (40%) are initially combined with these in soap – Imperial Leather possibly (comp. anag. incl. prim(rose), ap(ple), & lit.).
R. Hesketh: Run hotel and realise what Basils’ strained expressions might be (anag.; run = fuse; ref. ‘Fawlty Towers’).
Mrs S. D. Johnson: Hotelier’s ale, specially brewed, can lubricate and relax a stressed body (anag.).
J. C. Leyland: The chancellor blowing chance, I see? A spin doctor may pooh-pooh such (anag. less chance).
D. F. Manley: Distillation of rose petals – it’s ‘healthier’? That may come from therapists working with —— (comp. anag. & lit.).
C. J. Morse: Herbal distillates heal it, or else doctors (anag.).
C. Ogilvie: Finest distillations I lose in blend containing MacKay’s supposed quality (the real in anag.).
I. Simpson: Top source of perfume extracted from a variety of heliotrope petals? (anag. less top p, & lit.).
J. R. Tozer: Essentially this lot release stinks? (anag. incl. (t)hi(s), & lit.).
Dr M. C. Whelan: Substances used in aromatherapy? Possibly list aloe here (anag.).
G. H. Willett: Fragrant masseuse’s applications lead to explicit article, dinkum story in Melbourne Sun (e the real oil S; see oil in C.).
P. Bartlam, D. J. Bexson, T. C. Borland, C. Boyd, C. J. Brougham, E. J. Burge, Dr J. Burscough, B. Burton, C. J. & M. P. Butler, Mrs M. J. Cansfield, M. Coates, N. Connaughton, D. J. Dare-Plumpton, N. C. Dexter, C. M. Edmunds, A. S. Everest, Dr I. S. Fletcher, H. Freeman, R. Gilbert, J. Glassonbury, N. C. Goddard, M. Goodliffe, R. Grafen, M. Hanley, C. & C. Hinton, M. Hodgkin, G. Johnstone, D. J. Knight, B. J. Leatherbarrow, P. Lloyd, N. MacSweeney, C. G. Millin, T. J. Moorey, W. Murphy, R. A. Norton, F. R. Palmer, R. J. Palmer, G. S. Parsons, J. Pearce, A. Plumb, D. Price Jones, M. Sanderson, D. J. Short, P. L. Stone, A. Streatfield, N. Talbott, Mrs A. Terrill, D. H. Tompsett, J. S. Witte, A. J. Young.
223 entries, virtually no mistakes. Favourite clue of the month was ‘Cushy bed? Luther’s cross!’ (PLUMCOT), with ‘One of threesome privy to secret lay beneath plot’ (BEDPOST) in second place, and 19 clues receiving one or more votes. (I must stress again that I don’t expect competitors to nominate clues of mine as favourites, though I do find it interesting and useful to be told which find favour. I’m also interested to hear if you disapprove of clues, especially if you give reasons for your disapproval.) Equal fourth among your favourites this month (with 8 votes) was ‘If going uphill, watch the gear you’re in’ for FIT-OUT. A few of you with long memories recognized this as a Ximenes first prizewinner for Mr R. E. Kimmons in December 1963. This was, I’m reminded, the first time that X awarded VHCs as such, upgrading HCs to VHCs and ‘Runners Up’ to HC status. I suppose it has stuck in my mind because a certain J. Crowther was awarded one of his rare VHCs that month.
By general consent ETHEREAL OILS offered a good range of possibilities, though comments like ‘a bit of a beast’ also came up (as they always do). Just be grateful I didn’t give you HOJATOLESLAM! And to deal with a question that comes up regularly, I almost always choose the clue word before cluing the rest, rather that giving you the one I find least tractable. There was little unsoundness overall, apart from the occasional tendency to define the clue phrase rather too vaguely (‘they smell nice’, ‘sweeteners’ — that sort of thing). Mr Robinson sent me a useful index from a book he’d unearthed, subtitled An A-Z of Natural Essential Oils, which lists 40 plants from which such oils are extracted, though I feel sure the list has been added to and I didn’t use it as a yardstick.
Two corrections to last month’s slip: the VHC from C. D. S. & E. A. Field should have read ‘A madcap? T. Sawyer? —— scamp’d gone wild’, and Mr Manley’s VHC omitted a crucial ‘out’ after ‘AAA’. Apologies for my over-hasty keying, done on the eve of our Aegean holiday (which was hugely enjoyable). My book A-Z of Crosswords (HarperCollins, £17.99) will be published on 2 October.